Timeline of New York City events, crimes and disasters

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The following is a timeline of New York City events, crimes and disasters.

Notable annual events[edit]

Historic Events, Crimes, or Disasters[edit]

Exploration and colonization[edit]

18th century[edit]

  • 1702 – Yellow fever epidemic kills more than 500 people.[1]
  • 1776 August 27 – Continental Army routed by British troops in the Battle of Long Island, aka the Battle of Brooklyn.
  • 1776 September 15 – British troops capture lower Manhattan following the Landing at Kip's Bay.
  • 1776 September 15 – American troops stand off British troops in Battle of Harlem Heights.
  • 1776 September 21, – Approximately 1000 houses, a quarter of the city, are destroyed in a fire a week after British troops captured the city during the American Revolution. Arson is speculated (with George Washington and the British being among those blamed) and, during a round-up of suspicious persons by British forces, Nathan Hale is arrested. [1]
  • 1776 September 22 – Execution of Nathan Hale.
  • August 3, 1778 – Fire near Cruger's Wharf destroys 64 homes. [2]
  • 1783 – New Yorkers celebrate Evacuation Day, the day George Washington returned to the city and the last British forces left the United States.
  • 1794 – Minor yellow fever epidemic leads to creation of Bellevue Hospital.
  • 1795 – Yellow fever epidemic kills 732 between July 19 and October 12, from a total population of about 50,000. [3]
  • December 9, 1796 – The "Coffee House Slip Fire" burns from the foot of Wall Street and East River to Maiden Lane.[2]
  • 1798 – The "great epidemic", a major yellow fever epidemic, kills 2086 people from late July to November. [4] Epidemics occur in several other years, but this was the worst of them all. [5]

19th century[edit]

  • 1805 – Yellow fever epidemic, during which as many as 50,000 people are said to have fled the city.
  • 1811 - The Commissioners' Plan of 1811 lays out the Manhattan grid between 14th Street and Washington Heights.
  • May 19, 1811 – Close to 100 buildings burn down on Chatham Street.
  • 1819 – Yellow fever epidemic.
  • September 3, 1821 – The Norfolk and Long Island Hurricane causes a storm surge of 13 ft in one hour, leading to widespread flooding south of Canal Street, but few deaths are reported. The hurricane is estimated to have been a Category 3 event and to have made landfall at Jamaica Bay, making it the only hurricane in recorded history to directly strike what is now modern New York City.
  • 1822 – Last major outbreak of yellow fever in the city.
  • May 15, 1824 – The boiler of steamship Aetna explodes as the ship is en route in New York Harbor. At least 10 passengers are killed, and many more seriously injured.[3]
  • 1832 – Cholera pandemic reaches North America. It breaks out in New York City on June 26, peaks at 100 deaths per day during July, and finally abates in December. More than 3500 people die in the city, many in the lower-class neighborhoods, particularly Five Points. Another 80,000 people, one third of the population, are said to have fled the city during the epidemic. [6] [7]
  • December 16, 1835 – The New York Stock Exchange and hundreds of other buildings are destroyed by the Great Fire which rages for two days in the Financial District. Efforts to stop the fire are limited by sub-zero temperatures which freezes water in hoses, wells, and the East River. 23 insurance companies are wiped out by the resulting claims.
  • July 25, 1841 – Mary Cecilia Rogers, a young woman known popularly as "The Beautiful Cigar Girl", disappeared and her dead body was found floating in the Hudson River three days later. The details surrounding the case suggested she was murdered. The death of this well-known person received national attention for weeks. The story became immortalized by Edgar Allan Poe in his story "The Mystery of Marie Roget." Despite intense media interest and an attempt to solve the enigma by Poe, the crime remains one of the most puzzling unsolved murders of New York City.
  • 1848–1849 – Cholera outbreak begins in December 1848, its spread initially limited by winter weather. By June 1849, it reaches epidemic proportions. 5071 city residents are killed. [8]
  • 1853 – Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations (1853)
  • 1854 – Cholera epidemic kills 2509.
  • July 13–17, 1863 – Approximately 50,000 people riot in protest of President Abraham Lincoln's announcement of a draft for troops to fight in the American Civil War. Over 100 are killed and many African Americans flee the city. The movie Gangs of New York takes place during the draft riots.
  • 1866 – Cholera epidemic kills "only" 1137, its spread having been limited by the efforts of the new Metropolitan Board of Health, and enforcement of sanitation laws. [9]
  • 1867 – The first elevated transportation line was constructed by the West Side and Yonkers Patent Railway Company along Greenwich Street and Ninth Avenue.
  • July 30, 1871 – A boiler explosion aboard the Westfield II Staten Island Ferry kills 125 among hundreds of Manhattanites making a weekend trip to the beaches.
  • December 5, 1876 – A stage lamp ignites scenery and starts the Brooklyn Theater Fire during a performance of "The Two Orphans", killing at least 276 people, primarily patrons in the upper gallery.[10]
  • January 13, 1882 – A train wreck occurs just south of Spuyten Duyvil Creek when a local train from Tarrytown crashes into the tail end of an express from Albany, which had stopped on the tracks to make an emergency repair. At least 10 persons were killed, including a state senator.
  • May 30, 1883 – A rumor that the Brooklyn Bridge is going to collapse causes a stampede that kills 12. [11]
  • March 12–13, 1888 – The Great Blizzard of 1888, or "White Hurricane", paralyzes the Eastern seaboard from Maryland to Maine; in New York City causing temperatures to fall as much as 60 degrees. About 21 inches (53 cm) of snow fall on the city, but enormous winds whip it into drifts as much as 20 feet deep. Regionally, over 400 people are said to have died in the storm's path. [12]
  • August 5–13, 1896 – A heat wave prostrates the city, with temperatures exceeding 90°F for nine days both day and night, with stagnant air and oppressive humidity. In all, 420 people die, mostly in crowded tenements in areas such as the Lower East Side.
  • 1898 – Consolidation of what are now the five boroughs into Greater New York
  • September 13, 1899 – Henry H. Bliss becomes the first person killed in an automobile accident in the United States when he steps off a streetcar at West 74th Street and Central Park West and is struck by a taxicab.

20th century[edit]

The wreck of the General Slocum
  • January 8, 1902 – A train collision in the original Park Avenue tunnel kills 17 and injures 38.[4]
  • June 15, 1904 – The General Slocum, carrying 1300 to a picnic site on Long Island, catches fire while on the East River alongside Astoria, Queens. Over 1000 passengers are killed, a major factor in the demise of the Little Germany neighborhood.
  • March 14, 1905 – Fire swept through an overcrowded tenement at 105 Allen Street on the Lower East Side, killing at least twenty people and injuring numerous more.
  • June 25, 1906 – Stanford White is shot and killed by Harry Kendall Thaw at what was then Madison Square Gardens. The murder would soon be dubbed "The Crime of the Century".
  • September/October, 1909 – Hudson-Fulton Celebration of the 300th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s discovery of the Hudson River and the 100th anniversary of Robert Fulton’s first successful commercial application of the paddle steamer.
  • August 9, 1910 – Reformist Mayor William Jay Gaynor is shot in the throat in Hoboken, New Jersey by former city employee James Gallagher. He eventually dies in September 1913 from effects of the wound.
  • March 25, 1911 – 146 employees, mostly women, are killed in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire near Washington Square Park, some by being forced to jump from the building by the fire. [13]
  • September 22, 1915 – 25 are killed during construction of IRT Subway in collapse on Seventh Avenue between 23rd and 25th Street.
  • October 16, 1916 - Margaret Sanger opens her first birth control clinic in Brooklyn
  • July 30, 1916 – The Black Tom explosion set off by German saboteurs at a munitions arsenal on a small island in New York Harbor kills seven in Jersey City, New Jersey and causes damage as far as the Brooklyn waterfront and Times Square.
  • 1918 – The "Great Influenza Pandemic" rages across the country and worldwide. On one particularly virulent October day, 851 people died in New York City alone.
  • November 1, 1918 – The actions of a substitute motorman filling in during a strike lead to a subway crash in Flatbush. The Malbone Street Wreck kills 97 people heading home from work and injures a hundred more. [14]
  • September 16, 1920 – The Wall Street bombing kills 38 at "the precise center, geographical as well as metaphorical, of financial America and even of the financial world." Anarchists were suspected (Sacco and Vanzetti had been indicted just days before) but no one was ever charged with the crime.
  • August 24, 1928 – A subway crash caused by a defective switch below Times Square kills 16 and injures 150.
  • May, 19, 1929 - two people were killed and scores injured in a stampede at Yankee Stadium by a crowd seeking to avoid a thunderstorm. [15]
  • August 6, 1930 – The disappearance of Joseph Force Crater, an Associate Justice of the New York Supreme Court. He was last seen entering a New York City taxicab. Crater was declared legally dead in 1939. His mistress Sally Lou Ritz (22) disappeared a few weeks later.
  • March 19, 1935 – The arrest of a shoplifter inflames racial tensions in Harlem and escalates to rioting and looting, with three killed, 125 injured and 100 arrested. [16]
  • August 11, 1937 – Heavy rains cause a tenement in New Brighton to collapse, killing 19.
  • September 21, 1938 – The New England Hurricane of 1938 strikes Long Island [17] and continues into New England, killing 564. In New York City, ten people are killed and power is lost across upper Manhattan and the Bronx.
  • 1939/40 – 1939 New York World's Fair
  • November 16, 1940 – "Mad Bomber" George Metesky plants the first bomb of his 16-year campaign of public bombings.
  • August 1, 1943 – A race riot erupts in Harlem after an African-American soldier is shot by the police and rumored to be killed. The incident touches off a simmering brew of racial tension, unemployment, and high prices to a day of rioting and looting. Several looters are shot dead,with blood everywhere, and about 500 persons are injured and another 500 arrested.
  • July 28, 1945 – A B-25 Mitchell bomber accidentally crashes into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building, killing 13 people.
  • May 20, 1946 - a United States Army Air Forces C-45 Beechcraft airplane crashed into the 58th floor on the north side of 40 Wall Street killing 5. [18]
  • June 25, 1946 – Fire destroys the St. George terminal of the Staten Island Ferry, killing 3 and injuring 280.
  • May 13, 1949 – Holland Tunnel fire caused by exploding truck carrying eighty 55-gallon drums of carbon disulfide seriously damages the tunnel's infrastructure and injures 66, with 27 hospitalized, mostly from smoke inhalation.
  • November 22, 1950 - The Kew Gardens train crash kills 78 people, injuring 363 others.
  • February 1, 1957 – Northeast Airlines Flight 823 crashes on Rikers Island on takeoff from LaGuardia Airport, killing 21 of the 101 on board.
  • February 3, 1959 – American Airlines Flight 320 crashes in the East River on approach to LaGuardia Airport, killing 65 of the 73 people on board.
  • December 16, 1960 – Mid-air collision between TWA Flight 266 (inbound to Idlewild Airport, now JFK) and United Airlines Flight 826 (inbound to LaGuardia Airport) over Miller Field, Staten Island. [19] The TWA aircraft crashed at the site, killing all aboard, while the United aircraft continued flying for about eight miles until it crashed in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, narrowly missing a school. All 134 aboard the aircraft died, along with six persons on the ground in Brooklyn.
  • March 1, 1962 – American Airlines Flight 1 crashes immediately after takeoff from Idlewild Airport, killing all 95 on board.
  • October 3, 1962 – 23 are killed and 94 injured when an improperly maintained and operated steam boiler explodes and rips through a New York Telephone Company building cafeteria at lunchtime in the Inwood section of Manhattan.[20]
  • November 30, 1962 – Eastern Air Lines Flight 512 crashes when trying to make a go-round after failing to land at Idlewild Airport in the fog. 25 of the 51 on board are killed.
  • April 20, 1963 – Three brush fires on Staten Island destroy 100 homes.
  • August 28, 1963 – The Career Girls Murders: Emily Hoffert and Janet Wylie, two young professionals, are murdered in their Upper East Side apartment by an intruder. Richard Robles, a young white man, was ultimately apprehended in 1965 after investigators erroneously arrested and forced a false confession from a black man, George Whitmore, who was completely innocent of the crime. Although Whitmore was compelled to wrongfully spend many years incarcerated, he was eventually released after his innocence was established, while Robles, remains in prison as of 2013.[21]
  • March 13, 1964 – Kitty Genovese is stabbed 82 times in Kew Gardens, Queens by Winston Moseley. The crime is witnessed by numerous people, none of whom aid Genovese or call for help. The crime is noted by psychology textbooks in later years for its demonstration of the bystander effect, although an article published in the New York Times in February 2004 indicated that many of the popular conceptions of the crime were instead misconceptions. [22] Moseley remains incarcerated as of 2013.
  • July 18, 1964 – Riots break out in Harlem in protest over the killing of a 15-year old by a white NYPD officer. One person is killed and 100 are injured in the violence.
  • 1964 – 1964/1965 New York World's Fair
  • February 8, 1965 – Eastern Air Lines Flight 663 crashes at Jones Beach when after takeoff from JFK it is forced to evade inbound PanAm Flight 212. All 84 on board are killed.
  • February 21, 1965 – Black nationalist leader Malcolm X is assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom by three members of the Nation of Islam.
  • October, 1965 - Pope Paul VI makes his historic pastoral visit as the first pope to ever visit the U.S. and gives his "war never again" speech against U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
  • November 9, 1965 – New York City is affected as part of the Northeast Blackout of 1965.
  • January 1, 1966 - New York City Transit workers strike for 12 days following failed contract negotiations between TWU Local 100 and the MTA.
  • October 17, 1966 – A fire across 23rd Street from Madison Square kills 12 members of the New York City Fire Department when a floor collapses beneath them. It was the worst day in the FDNY's history until September 11, 2001.[23]
  • October 8, 1967 – James "Groovy" Hutchinson, 21, an East Village hippie/stoner, and Linda Fitzpatrick, 18, a newly converted flower child from a wealthy Greenwich, Connecticut family, are found bludgeoned to death at 169 Avenue B, an incident dubbed "The Groovy Murders" by the press. Two drifters later plead guilty to the murders. [24]
  • July 3, 1968 – Bulgarian immigrant and Neo-Nazi, 42-year old Angel Angelof, opens fire from a lavatory roof in Central Park, killing a 24-year old woman and an 80-year old man before being gunned down by police.[25]
  • June 28, 1969 – A questionable police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a Greenwich Village gay bar, is resisted by the patrons and leads to a riot. The event helps inspire the founding of the modern homosexual rights movement.
  • 1970 – The Knapp Commission begins its investigation of police corruption
  • March 6, 1970 – Greenwich Village townhouse explosion: Three members of the domestic terrorist group the Weathermen are killed when a nail bomb they were building accidentally explodes in the basement of a townhouse on 18 West 11th Street.[26]
  • May 21, 1971 – Two NYPD officers, Waverly Jones and Joseph Piagentini,are gunned down in ambush by members of the Black Liberation Army in Harlem. The gunmen, Herman Bell and Anthony Bottom, still in prison as of 2012, were rearrested in jail in connection with the 1971 killing of a San Francisco police officer.[27]
  • April 7, 1972 – Mob Boss Joe Gallo is gunned down at Umberto's Clam House in Little Italy. The incident serves as the inspiration for the Bob Dylan's epic "Joey" recorded in 1975.
  • August 22, 1972 – John Wojtowicz and Salvatore Natuarale hold up a Brooklyn bank for 14-hours, in a bid to get cash to pay for Wojtowicz' gay lover's sex change operation. The scheme fails when the cops arrive, leading to a tense 14-hour standoff. Natuarale is killed by the police at JFK Airport. The incident served as the basis for the 1975 film Dog Day Afternoon.
  • February 10, 1973 – 40 workers are killed in an explosion while cleaning an empty LNG tank in Bloomfield, Staten Island. [28]
  • March 3, 1973 – The 102-year-old Broadway Central Hotel at 673 Broadway collapses, killing four residents.
  • January 24, 1975 – Fraunces Tavern, a historical site in lower Manhattan is bombed by the FALN killing 4 people and wounding more than 50.
  • June 24, 1975 – Eastern Air Lines Flight 66 from New Orleans strikes the runway lights at Kennedy airport, probably due to wind shear. 113 of the 124 people on board are killed. [29]
  • December 29, 1975 – A bomb explodes in the baggage claim area of the TWA terminal at LaGuardia Airport, killing 11 and injuring 74. The perpetrators were never identified. [30]
  • July 29, 1976 – David Berkowitz (aka the "Son of Sam") kills one person and seriously wounds another in the first of a series of attacks that terrorized the city for the next year.
  • November 25, 1976 – NYPD officer Robert Torsney fatally shoots unarmed 15-year old Randolph Evans in Cypress Hills, Brooklyn. Torsney is found not guilty by reason of insanity the following year and is released from Queens' Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in 1979, only to be denied a disability pension.
  • May 16, 1977 – A New York Airways helicopter idling at the helipad on the MetLife Building – then the PanAm Building – toppled over and its rotor blade sheared off. The blade killed four people on the roof and then fell over the edge and down 59 stories and a block over to Madison Avenue where it killed a pedestrian.
  • May 25, 1977 – A fire at the Everard Baths at 28 West 28th St. in Manhattan killed 9 patrons.
  • July 13–14, 1977 – New York City again loses power in the blackout of 1977. Unlike the previous blackout twelve years earlier, this blackout is followed by widespread rioting and looting. Many neighborhoods, most notably Bushwick, were almost completely devastated.
  • October 12, 1977 – "Ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning." During Game 2 of the 1977 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers, a fire rages out of control at an abandoned elementary school near Yankee Stadium. The images and a dramatic statement on national television by sportscaster Howard Cosell is widely seen as the symbolic nadir of a dark period in city history. The story of 1977 in New York City is later featured in such works as the movie Summer of Sam by Spike Lee, the best-selling book Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx Is Burning, and the television drama The Bronx is Burning.
  • October 12, 1978 – Sid Vicious allegedly stabs his girlfriend Nancy Spungen to death in their room in the Hotel Chelsea.
  • February 13, 1979 The Guardian Angels are formed in Brooklyn by Curtis Silwa.
  • May 25, 1979 – Six year-old Etan Patz vanishes after leaving his SoHo apartment to walk to his school bus alone. Despite a massive search by the NYPD the boy is never found, and was declared legally dead in 2001.[31]
  • October 2, 1979 - Pope John Paul II makes his first papal visit while on his first papal tour of the U.S., speaking at the U.N. against concentration camps and torture.
  • March 14, 1980 – Ex-Congressman Allard Lowenstein is assassinated in his law offices at Rockefeller Center by Dennis Sweeney, a deranged ex-associate.[32]
  • April 1, 1980 - Second New York City Transit strike lasts 11 days.
  • December 8, 1980 – Ex-Beatle John Lennon is murdered in front of his home in The Dakota.
  • June 22, 1982 – Willie Turks, an African-American 34-year old MTA worker is set upon and killed by a white mob in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn. 18-year old Gino Bova was convicted of second-degree manslaughter in 1983.
  • September 28, 1983 Michael Stewart (graffiti artist) is shot to death by New York Transit Police officers, who will later be acquitted, but will spark controversies about police brutality and racism.
  • October 29, 1984 – 66-year old Eleanor Bumpurs is shot and killed by police as they tried to evict her from her Bronx apartment. Bumpurs, who was mentally ill, was wielding a knife and had slashed one of the officers. The shooting provoked heated debate about police racism and brutality.
  • December 22, 1984 – Bernhard Goetz shoots and kills four unarmed black men on a subway who tried to rob him, generating weeks of headlines and many discussions about crime and vigilantism in the media.
  • April 17, 1985 - Mark Davidson, high school student, was arrested and tortured in Queens 106th Precinct on drug dealing charges.
  • June 12, 1985 Edmund Perry, returning graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, N.H., is shot to death in Harlem by undercover officer Lee Van Houten after Perry and his brother, Jonah, attacked Van Houten to get money for a movie. Van Houten was acquitted the following month.
  • December 16, 1985 – Mob boss Paul Castellano is shot dead in a gangland execution on E. 46th Street in Manhattan.
  • July 7, 1986 – A deranged man, Juan Gonzalez, wielding a machete kills 2 and wounds 9 on the Staten Island Ferry. In 2000 Gonzalez was granted unsupervised leave from his residence at the Bronx Psychiatric Hospital.[33]
  • August 26, 1986 – The "preppie murder": 18-year old student Jennifer Levin is murdered by Robert Chambers in Central Park after the two had left a bar to have sex in the park. The case was sensationalized in the press and raised issues over victims' rights, as Chambers' attorney attempted to smear Levin's reputation to win his client's freedom.
  • September 26, 1986 - The death of Oswaldo Gonzalez. Killed execution style in Brooklyn, NY. Drug related.
  • November 19, 1986 – 20-year old Larry Davis (criminal) opens fire on NYPD officers attempting to arrest him in his sister's apartment in the Bronx. Six officers were wounded, and Davis eluded capture for the next 17 days, during which time he became something of a folk hero in the neighborhood. Davis was stabbed to death in jail in 2008.
  • December 20, 1986 – A white mob in Howard Beach, Queens, attacks three African-American men whose car had broken down in the largely white neighborhood. One of the men, Michael Griffith is chased onto Shore Parkway where he is hit and killed by a passing car. The killing prompted several tempestuous marches through the neighborhood led by Al Sharpton.
  • May 19, 1987 – 11-year old Juan Perez is mauled and killed by two polar bears after he and his friends sneak into the enclosure at the Prospect Park Zoo that night.[34]
  • July 9, 1987 – 12-year-old Jennifer Schweiger, a girl afflicted with Down Syndrome, is abducted and murdered in Staten Island by a sex offender and suspected mass murderer, Andre Rand.
  • November 2, 1987 – Joel Steinberg and his lover Hedda Nussbaum are arrested for the beating and neglect of their 6-year old adopted daughter Lisa Steinberg who died two days later from her injuries. The case provoked outrage that did not subside when Steinberg was released from prison in 2004 after serving 15 years.
  • April 19, 1989 – Central Park Jogger Trisha Meili is violently raped and beaten while jogging in Central Park. The crime is attributed to a group of young men who were practicing an activity they called "wilding", with five of these teens convicted and jailed. In 2002, after the five had completed their sentences, Matias Reyes – a convicted rapist and murderer serving a life sentence for other crimes – confessed to the crime, after which DNA evidence proved the five teens innocent.
  • August 23, 1989 – Yusuf Hawkins an African-American 16-year old student is set upon and murdered by a white mob in the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn in one of the city's worst-ever racial attacks.[35]
  • January 25, 1990 – Avianca Flight 52 to Kennedy airport crashes at Cove Neck, Long Island, after missing an approach and then running out of fuel. 73 of 158 passengers are killed.
  • March 7, 1990 – 12-year old Haitian immigrant David Opont is mugged and set on fire by a 14-year old assailant, who remained anonymous because he was tried as a minor. The attack created an outpouring of support throughout the city for Opont who eventually recovered from his burns. [36]
  • March 8, 1990 – The first of the copycat Zodiac Killer Heriberto Seda's eight shooting victims is wounded in an attack in Brooklyn. Between 1990 and 1993, Seda will wound 5 and kill 3 in his serial attacks. He is captured in 1996 and convicted in 1998.
  • March 25, 1990 – Arson at the Happyland Social Club at 1959 Southern Boulevard in the East Tremont section of the Bronx kills 87 people unable to escape the packed dance club. [37]
  • September 2, 1990 – Utah tourist Brian Watkins is stabbed to death in the Seventh Avenue – 53rd Street station by a gang of youths. Watkins was visiting New York with his family to attend the US Open Tennis tournament in Queens, when he was killed defending his family from a gang of muggers. The killing marked a low point in the record murder year of 1990 and led to an increased police presence in New York.[38]
  • November 5, 1990 – Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the Jewish Defense League, is assassinated at the Marriott East Side Hotel at 48th Street and Lexington Avenue by El Sayyid Nosair.
  • January 24, 1991 - Arohn Kee rapes and murders 13-year-old Paola Illera in East Harlem while she is on her way home from school. Her body is later found near the FDR Drive. Over the next eight years, Kee murders two more women before being arrest in February 1999. He is sentenced to three life terms in prison in January 2001. [5]
  • July 23, 1991 - The body of a four-year-old girl is found in a cooler on the Henry Hudson Parkway in Inwood, Manhattan. The identity of the child, dubbed "Baby Hope," is unknown until October 2013, when 52-year-old Conrado Juarez is arrested after confessing to killing the girl, his cousin Anjelica Castillo, and dumping her body.[6]
  • August 19, 1991 – A Jewish automobile driver accidentally kills a seven-year-old African-American boy, thereby touching off the Crown Heights riots, during which an Australian Jew, Yankel Rosenbaum, was fatally stabbed by Lemrick Nelson.
  • August 28, 1991 – A 4 train crashes just north of 14th Street – Union Square, killing 5 people. Motorman Robert Ray, who was intoxicated, fell asleep at the controls and was convicted of manslaughter in 1992.[39]
  • December 28, 1991 – Nine people were crushed to death trying to enter the Nat Holman gymnasium at CCNY. The crowd was trying to gain entry to a celebrity basketball game featuring hip-hop and rap performers including Heavy D and Sean Combs.[40]
  • March 22, 1992 – Ice buildup without subsequent de-icing causes USAir Flight 405 to crash on takeoff from LaGuardia Airport. 27 of the 51 on board are killed.
  • December 10–13, 1992 – A noreaster strikes the US Mid-Atlantic coast. The storm surge causes extensive flooding along the city shoreline.
  • December 17, 1992 – Patrick Daly, Principal of P.S. 15 in Red Hook, Brooklyn is killed in the crossfire of a drug-related shooting while looking for a pupil who had left his school. The school was later renamed the Patrick Daly school after the beloved principal. [41]
  • February 26, 1993 – A bomb planted by terrorists explodes in the World Trade Center's underground garage, killing six people and injuring over a thousand, as well as causing much damage to the basement. See: World Trade Center bombing
  • June 6, 1993 – The Golden Venture, a freighter carrying 286 illegal immigrants from China runs aground a quarter-mile off the coast of Rockaway, Queens killing 10 passengers.[42]
  • December 7, 1993 – Colin Ferguson shoots 25 passengers, killing six, on a Long Island Rail Road commuter train out of Penn Station.
  • March 1, 1994 – 1994 New York school bus shootingRashid Baz a Lebanese-born Arab immigrant opens fire on a van carrying members of the Lubavitch Hasidic sect of Jews driving on the Brooklyn Bridge. A 16-year old student, Ari Halberstam later dies of his wounds. Baz was apparently acting out of revenge for the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre in Hebron, West Bank.[43]
  • August 31, 1994 – William Tager shoots and kills Campbell Theron Montgomery, a technician employed by NBC, outside of the stage of the Today show. Tager is also identified as one of possibly two men who assaulted CBS News anchor Dan Rather on Park Avenue in 1986.
  • December 15, 1994 - Disgruntled computer analyst Edward J. Leary firebombs a #3 train with homemade explosives at 145th Street, injuring two teenagers. Six days later, he firebombs a crowded #4 train at Fulton Street, injuring over 40. Leary is sentenced to 94 years in prison for both attacks.[7]
  • December 22, 1994 – Anthony Baez, a 29-year old Bronx man dies after being placed in an illegal chokehold by NYPD officer Francis X. Livoti. Livoti is sentenced to 7 and a half years in 1998 for violating Baez' civil rights.[44]
  • December 8, 1995 – A long racial dispute in Harlem over the eviction of an African-American record store-owner by a Jewish proprieter ends in murder and arson. 51-year old Roland Smith, Jr., angry over the proposed eviction, set fire to Freddie's Fashion Mart on 125th Street and opened fire on the store's employees, killing 7 and wounding four. Smith also perished in the blaze.[45]
  • March 4, 1996 – Second Avenue Deli owner Abe Lebewohl is shot and killed during a robbery. The murder of this popular deli owner and East Village fixture remains unsolved as of 2013.[46]
  • June 4, 1996 – 22-year old drifter John Royster brutally beats a 32-year old female piano teacher in Central Park, the first in a series of attacks over a period of eight days. Royster would go on to brutally beat another woman in Manhattan, rape a woman in Yonkers and beat a woman, Evelyn Alvarez to death on Park Avenue on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. In 1998 Royster was sentenced to life in prison without parole.[47]
  • July 17, 1996 – TWA Flight 800 departs Kennedy airport and crashes in the Atlantic Ocean south of Long Island, killing all 230 people on board. [48]
  • February 23, 1997 – Abu Ali Kamal, a 69-year old Palestinian immigrant opens fire on the observation deck of the Empire State Building, killing one and wounding six before taking his own life.[49] In 2007 Kamal's daughter told the New York Daily News that the shooting was politically motivated.[50]
  • May 30, 1997 – Jonathan Levin a Bronx teacher and son of former Time Warner CEO Gerald Levin is robbed and murdered by his former student Corey Arthur.[51]
  • August 9, 1997– Abner Louima is beaten and sodomized with a plunger at the 70th precinct house in Brooklyn by several NYPD officers led by Justin Volpe.
  • November 7, 1997 – A Manhattan couple, Camden Sylvia, 36, and Michael Sullivan, 54, disappear from their loft at 76 Pearl Street in Manhattan after arguing with their landlord over a lack of heat in their apartment. The landlord, Robert Rodriguez, pleaded guilty to tax evasion, larceny and credit card fraud following the missing persons investigation. The couple is presumed dead.[52]
  • September 2, 1998 – Swissair Flight 111 departs Kennedy airport and crashes off the coast of Nova Scotia.
  • January 3, 1999 – 32-year old Kendra Webdale is killed after being pushed in front of an oncoming subway train at the 23rd Street station by Andrew Goldstein, a 29-year old schizophrenic. The case ultimately led to the passage of Kendra's Law.
  • February 4, 1999 – Unarmed African immigrant Amadou Bailo Diallo is shot and killed by 4 New York City police officers, sparking massive protests against police brutality and racial profiling.
  • March 8, 1999 – Amy Watkins a 26-year old social worker from Kansas who worked with battered women in the Bronx, is stabbed to death in a botched robbery near her home in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. Her two assailants were sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. [53]
  • October 31, 1999 – EgyptAir Flight 990 departs Kennedy airport and crashes off the coast of Nantucket. [54]
  • March 24, 2000 - Patrick Dorismond is shot and killed by an NYPD officer in a case of mistaken identity during a drug bust.
  • May 24, 2000 – Five employees of a Flushing, Queens, Wendy's restaurant are killed and two are seriously wounded during a robbery that netted the killers $2,400.

21st century[edit]

  • May 10, 2001 – Actress Jennifer Stahl is killed with two other people in an armed robbery in her apartment above the Carnegie Deli in Manhattan. The victims were bound and shot point-blank in the head.[55]
  • September 11, 2001 – The two 110-story World Trade Center towers and several surrounding buildings are destroyed by two jetliners in part of a coordinated terrorist attack by radical terrorists ("9/11"). In 2004, the count of the dead in New York City alone from the 9/11 attacks is set at over 2,600 people.
  • November 12, 2001 – American Airlines Flight 587 crashes into the Belle Harbor neighborhood of Queens shortly after takeoff from Kennedy airport, killing all 265 on board and five persons on the ground.[56]
  • January 24, 2003 - Four teenage boys drown in the Long Island Sound near City Island when their overloaded dinghy sinks. A communication misunderstand between them and the 911 dispatcher contributed to their deaths [57]
  • February 15, 2003 – Between 300,000 and 400,000 people participate in the New York February 15, 2003 anti-war protest
  • July 23, 2003 – Othniel Askew shoots to death political rival City Council member James E. Davis in the City Hall chambers of the New York City Council.
  • August 14, 2003 – New York loses power in a blackout that affects eight states as well as parts of Canada.
  • October 15, 2003 – The Staten Island Ferry boat Andrew J. Barberi collides with a pier at the St. George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island, killing ten people and injuring 43 others.[58]
  • January 27, 2005 – Nicole duFresne an aspiring actress is shot dead in the Lower East Side section of Manhattan after being accosted by a gang of youths.[59]
  • June 16, 2005 – 15-year-old Phoenix Garrett is shot to death by 13-year-old L'mani Delima for allegedly selling bootleg Dipset Crew CDs. Delima is convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to nine years to life. On May 15, 2009, 33-year-old Carlos Thompson, accused of providing the gun and ordering the killing, is captured. He was sentenced in a plea deal to twelve years imprisonment and five years post-release supervision for manslaughter on June 9, 2010. [60][61][62]
  • October 31, 2005 – Peter Braunstein sexually assaults a co-worker while posing as a fireman, later leading officials on a multi-state manhunt. Braunstein was later sentenced to life and will be eligible for parole in 2023.
  • December 20, 2005 - Third New York City Transit strike lasts three days due to stiff penalties imposed to TWU Local 100 under the Taylor Law.
  • January 11, 2006 – seven year-old Nixzmary Brown dies after being beaten by her stepfather, Cesar Rodriguez, in their Brooklyn apartment. Rodriguez was convicted of first-degree manslaughter in March, 2008.[63]
  • February 25, 2006 – Criminology graduate student Imette St. Guillen is brutally tortured, raped, and killed in New York City after being abducted outside the Falls bar in the SoHo section of Manhattan. Bouncer Darryl Littlejohn is convicted of the crime and sentenced to life imprisonment.[64]
  • April 1, 2006 – New York University (NYU) student Broderick Hehman is killed after being hit by a car in Harlem. Hehman was chased into the street by a group of black teens who allegedly shouted "get the white boy." The death of Hehman echoed the death of Michael Griffith (manslaughter victim) 20 years earlier in Queens.[65]
  • May 29, 2006 – Jeff Gross, founder of the Staten Island commune Ganas is shot and wounded by former commune member Rebekah Johnson. Johnson was captured in Philadelphia on June 18, 2007 after being featured on America's Most Wanted.[66]
  • June 13, 2006 - A homeless man named Kenny Alexis went on a stabbing spree in which he injured four people, including three tourists, across a 12-hour span in Manhattan.
  • July 10, 2006 – 66-year old Romanian immigrant Dr. Nicholas Bartha commits suicide by blowing up his townhouse at 34 East 62nd Street in Manhattan while in the basement of the building. Bartha chose to demolish his home rather than relinquish it to his ex-wife as ordered by the courts.[67]
  • July 12, 2006 – a van carrying mentally disabled residents of the Brooklyn Manor home crashes into a tree on Cross Bay Boulevard, killing five.[68]
  • July 2006 - parts of Queens suffer a blackout during a heat wave.
  • July 25, 2006 – Jennifer Moore, an 18-year old student from New Jersey is abducted and killed after a night of drinking at a Chelsea bar. Her body is found outside a Weehawken motel. 35-year old Draymond Coleman was convicted of the crime and sentenced to 50 years in 2010. [69]
  • August 28, 2006 – Matthew Colletta, a 34-year old man suffering from mental illness goes on a shooting spree in Queens, NY. One man is killed and five are wounded before Colletta is apprehended by the NYPD in Queens early the next morning.[70]
  • October 8, 2006 – Michael Sandy, a 29-year old man is hit by a car on the Belt Parkway after being beaten by a group of white attackers. Sandy died of his injuries on October 13, 2006. The attack, which is being investigated as a hate crime hearkened back to the killing of Michael Griffith in 1986.[71]
  • October 11, 2006 – A general aviation aircraft owned by New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle crashes into the 31st floor of the Belaire Apartments on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Lidle, 34, is killed in the crash along with his flight instructor.[72]
  • November 25, 2006 – Four NYPD officers fire a combined 50 shots at a group of unarmed men in Jamaica, Queens wounding two and killing 23-year old Sean Bell. The case sparks controversy over police brutality and racial profiling.
  • March 8, 2007 – a fire started by a space heater claims the lives of 10 people, nine of them children, in the Bronx neighborhood of High Bridge. The home housed 22 immigrants from the African nation of Mali.[73]
  • March 14, 2007 – 32-year-old David Garvin goes on a shooting rampage in Greenwich Village, killing a pizzeria employee and two auxiliary police officers before NYPD officers fatally shoot him.[74]
  • July 18, 2007 – a steam pipe explosion kills one and wounds twenty others near the corner of Lexington Avenue and East 41st street in Manhattan.[75]
  • February 12, 2008 – Psychologist Kathryn Faughey is brutally murdered in her Manhattan office by a mentally ill man whose intended victim was a psychiatrist in the same practice.[8]
  • March 15, 2008 – a crane collapse at a construction site in Turtle Bay kills seven and damages adjacent buildings.[76]
  • December 2, 2008 - 25-year-old aspiring dancer Laura Garza disappears after leaving a Manhattan nightclub with a sex offender named Michael Mele. Her remains are found in Olyphant, Pennsylvania in April 2010. On the first day of his trial in January 2012, Mele admits to killing Garza and pleads guilty to first degree manslaughter [77].
  • January 15, 2009 – US Airways Flight 1549 ditches in the Hudson River after both engines fail; all 150 passengers are successfully evacuated.[9][10]
  • August 8, 2009 – a small plane and helicopter collide above Hudson River near Hoboken killing 9 people. [78]
  • July 22, 2010 – Five members of the Jones family were killed in an apparent case of murder-suicide arson in the Port Richmond section of Staten Island. [79]
  • September 16, 2010 – Strong thunderstorms and a possible tornado hit Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island, killing one woman when a tree fell onto her car on the Grand Central Parkway.
  • February 11, 2011 – Maksim Gelman, 23, goes on 28 hour rampage killing 5 and wounding 6 others throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan. He is sentenced to life imprisonment. [80]
  • March 12, 2011 – 15 passengers on a coach bus traveling south on I-95 in the Bronx were killed when the bus careened out of control and crashed into a pole. [81]
  • July 13, 2011 – the body of 8-year old Leiby Kletzky is found dismembered in two locations in Brooklyn after he was allegedly murdered by a 35-year-old Orthodox Jewish clerk.[11]
  • September 5, 2011 – Over 67 separate shootings take place in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx during a particularly violent Labor Day weekend leaving 13 dead. One of the shootings took place just blocks from Mayor Bloomberg and which 8 police officers fired over 70 shots, with two of them being injured in the shootout.
  • October 4, 2011 – a helicopter carrying 5 tourists crashed into the East River after liftoff, killing one on board. A second passenger died later from her injuries. [82]
  • December 17, 2011 - Deloris Gillespie, 73, was burned alive in her Prospect Heights apartment elevator by Jerome Isaac, 47. Isaac was sentenced to a minimum of 50 years in prison in 2012.[83]
  • April 29, 2012 - a van traveling southbound on the Bronx River Parkway near the Bronx Zoo crashed killing 7 people.[12] [84] [13]
  • August 24, 2012 - Jeffrey Johnson, 58, shot and killed a former co-worker before being shot and killed by police officers outside the Empire State Building. A total of 11 people (including the gunman) were shot. [85]
  • October 29, 2012 - Hurricane Sandy brings flooding and high winds that result in several deaths and widespread power outages. The New York Stock Exchange, public schools, and all mass transit service were closed as a result. [86] At least 43 deaths have been directly attributed to the storm in New York City alone. [87]
  • October 26, 2013 - 5 people are stabbed to death, including four children, in an apartment in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. [88]
  • December 1, 2013 - 4 people are killed and scores injured after a Metro-North Railroad train derailed near the Spuyten Duyvil station in the Bronx.


Murders by year[edit]

Chart of murders in the NYC area by year
Year Murders
1928 4041
1929 425
1930 494
1931 588
1932 579
1933 541
1934 458
1935 n/a
1936 510
1937-1959 n/a
1960 482
1961 483
1962 631
1963 548[14]
1964 636[14]
1965 634[14]
1966 654[14]
1967 746[14]
1968 986[14]
1969 1043[14]
1970 1117[14]
1971 1466[14]
1972 1691[14]
1973 1680[14]
1974 1554[14]
1975 1645[14]
1976 1622[14]
1977 1557[14]
1978 1504[14]
1979 1733[14]
1980 1814[14]
1981 1826[14]
1982 1668[14]
1983 1622[14]
1984 1450[14]
1985 1384[14]
1986 1582[14]
1987 1672[14]
1988 1896[14]
1989 1905[14]
1990 2245[14]2
1991 2154[14]
1992 1995[14]
1993 1946[14]
1994 1561[14]
1995 1177[14]
1996 983[14]
1997 770[14]
1998 633[14]
1999 671[14]
2000 673[14]
2001 649[14]3
2002 587[14]
2003 597[14]
2004 570[14]
2005 539[14]
2006 596[14]
2007 494[14]
2008 522
2009 471[15]
2010 534[16]
2011 515[17]
2012 4144
  • 1 1928: First year tabulated.
  • 2 1990: Highest total to date.
  • 3 2001: Not including the September 11 terrorist attacks.
  • 4 2012: Lowest total since 1928, lowest per capita rate.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Duffy, John. Epidemics in Colonial America, Baton Rouge, 1971. p. 142, 145
  2. ^ Moss, Frank. The American metropolis from Knickerbocker days to the present time, London, 1897 p 139
  3. ^ Grohman, Adam M. (April 2011). "Sentinels and Saviors of the Sea". Boating World U. S. Coast Guard Series. River & Sound Publishing of NY, Inc. Retrieved September 2, 2011. 
  4. ^ New York Times. “Another Tunnel Victim Dead,” Jan 13, 1902, p. 5.
  5. ^ http://murderpedia.org/male.K/k/kee-arohn.htm
  6. ^ http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Baby-Hope-Case-Cooler-Angelica-Father-Washington-Heights--227522511.html
  7. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/1996/05/03/nyregion/94-year-term-in-firebombing-in-the-subway.html?ref=edwardjleary
  8. ^ Patient hacks therapist to death, New York Daily News, February 13, 2008
  9. ^ US Airways Plane Crashes Into Hudson River
  10. ^ Airplane in Hudson River after failed takeoff, FAA says
  11. ^ Baker, Al; Robbins, Liz; Goldstein, Joseph (July 13, 2011). "Missing Boy’s Dismembered Body Found; Suspect Says He Panicked". The New York Times. Retrieved July 13, 2011. 
  12. ^ Marschhauser, Brian. "Pace Student Loses Seven Family Members in Bronx Zoo Crash". The Pleasantville Daily Voice. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  13. ^ Marschhauser, Brian. "Pace Shows Solidarity Following Bronx Zoo Accident". The Pleasantville Daily Voice. Retrieved 26 July 2012. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as http://nymag.com/news/features/crime/2008/42603/index5.html
  15. ^ http://gawker.com/5438777/new-york-city-maintains-its-violent-new-years-tradition
  16. ^ http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/downloads/pdf/crime_statistics/cscity.pdf
  17. ^ http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/downloads/pdf/analysis_and_planning/seven_major_felony_offenses_2000_2011.pdf